George Karlaftis considers himself a power rusher with Chiefs

John Dillon
Chiefs Wire

After their 2021 campaign ended in a disaster of an AFC championship game, the Kansas City Chiefs loaded up on defensive talent in the offseason.

Chief among their fresh faces is rookie George Karlaftis, the sensational pass rusher from Purdue, who burst onto the scene as a first-round pick in April.

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A huge part of Kansas City’s struggle on defense last season was a consistent inconsistency in actually sacking the quarterback, despite boasting a halfway respectable pressure rate.

Karlaftis looks to change things in that department and gave the press some insight into his sick-sack-strategy during Tuesday’s media availability in St. Joseph.

Jul 27, 2022; St. Joseph, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Elijah Lee (44) and tight end Jordan Franks (46) and defensive end George Karlaftis (56) walk down the hill to the field prior to training camp at Missouri Western University.  Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: IMAGN-496260

"I wouldn’t describe it as bull rushing," Karlaftis explained of his signature moves that landed him in the top 30 back in April. "For me, I’m a power rusher. You see guys around the league, you see the speed guys like a Von Miller, you see the power guys. But if you really look at the game and study the game, you see that over half the guys that sack come from power. So just from that alone, you hear Von Miller talk (he) has 100-something sacks, over 60 of them or 70 of them were from power.

"So why wouldn’t you just hone in on that? So that’s all that I’ve been working on. My coach my freshman year, Kevin Wolthausen at Purdue, he told me, ‘Speed to power.’ So, I worked that every single day. That was the only move he taught me when I enrolled in spring ball, so I worked that almost every single day. And I base my whole game off of that."

It’ll be harder to dominate the pro level with raw strength than it was in the Big Ten, but one look at Karlaftis will tell the average fan everything they need to know about the Greek import.

Though he may consider his power to be his primary asset, finesse will be key in his development. It could even prove to be what makes the difference in his career when it is all said and done.